A Delaware state trooper hit a man who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs just before 1 a.m. Thursday.
The accident happened on Kirkwood Highway near Duncan Road. Police say the unidentified pedestrian walked directly into the path of the trooper’s patrol vehicle. They say the trooper swerved but was unable to avoid hitting the man.
The victim was taken to Christiana Hospital and admitted in critical condition. Police are still trying to identify the man. They say he was not crossing at an intersection or within a marked crosswalk. Alcohol and drugs are both considered factors in the accident.
The incident is the latest in a string of pedestrian accidents up and down the state in 2013. The State Office of Highway Safety recently launched a campaign to warn pedestrians about the dangers of walking along the state’s roads, especially at night.
So far, there have been 13 pedestrian deaths in the state this year. That’s higher than the number of pedestrian deaths for this time last year. In 2012, there were 30 pedestrians killed and 347 pedestrians injured on Delaware roads. That was a big jump over 2011, when just 19 pedestrians were killed.
The state has even started a series of pedestrian checkpoints at hot spots for pedestrian accidents. Similar to DUI checkpoints, police at the pedestrian checkpoints stop walkers who are at risk. Pedestrians who are stopped will be given advice on how to better protect themselves while walking on the road. They’ll also be given informational flyers and a reflective string backpack.